Gators lose out on Curtis Grant

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Curtis Grant delivered a crushing National Signing Day blow to Florida’s 2011 class Wednesday when he committed to Ohio State.

For most of the recruiting season, the Richmond, Va., Hermitage linebacker back, whom Rivals.com ranked as the nation’s No. 1 middle linebacker, kept the Gators near or at the top of his list.

However, things began to change for Grant after Urban Meyer’s sudden resignation in December. Ohio State coach Jim Tressel really made a very good impression on Grant and his family.

Though Grant officially visited Florida earlier this month and warmed up to new Florida coach Will Muschamp, his relationship with Tressel proved to be too much.

Grant was Florida’s biggest target left on its recruiting board Wednesday and he would have filled a major hole at linebacker. Florida’s only linebacker commitment came from Middletown, Conn., Xavier linebacker Graham Stewart, who stands at 6-foot-1, 216 pounds.

52 COMMENTS

  1. More times than not, kids that choose OSU have serious emotional deficiencies, it just goes with the culture up there. Personally, I don’t think “darn, we lost him.” I think, “oh, test failed, glad we’re not getting him!”

  2. I’m sorry we lost this one, but if he was only coming for Meyer (and I know relationships are important), then he was not looking at all the advantages that go along with being a GATOR. This guy seems to be the cream of the crop, I really wish he would have had the desire to play against the best (SEC) He could be a star anywhere, but when you are the best of the best the world watches you. Look at the nine players that left FLORIDA this last year and what they did at the next level, ALL of them played and many started with very positive results. Lets see who gets the NC first between FLORIDA, FSU, CLEMSON and Ohio State. Go GATORS!!!

  3. When these kids don’t commit because they only liked the coach…whatever. Like Jernigan…he felt “betrayed by Florida” because of Meyer and McCarney. Ummmm…you know they’re not at Florida now and the other coaches had nothing to do with that “lifelong Gator fan”. At least all this crap is pretty much over for a little while. Now we can start our maniacal analysis of high school juniors. Awesome.

  4. Observations: (1) It is unfair to judge the recruiting abilities of WM based on this year alone, (2) That said it is amusing, in a sad way, to read the posting indicating the strong strain of denial among members of the Gator Nation, (3) Folks, the reality is that this class did not address some serious needs on the team, (4) That issue, were needs met, did the people recruited the hardest commit to the Gators, (5) This class does not appear to be too bad but needs were not met and people like Jernigan, Grant, Rasco, Anthony, et al signed elsewhere, (6) Finally, please no more ‘denial’; it get boring, silly and rather does not matter.

  5. Hey, I heard that there was something happening over in Egypt. Anyone heard anthing about it? Oh, and before I get trashed, I’m a season ticket holder since 1977 and have missed only two home games in that time.

  6. E. Koch, whats your point? The coaches did their best to get the best possible players. Other schools were just more attractive to them or they were coming to Florida to be a Meyer Not a Gator. Of those Four Players you named we will only miss two of them. Rasco was a last minute “media baby” because WM had recruited him from Tex. and they knew he liked WM, but in the end as usual very few Louisianna kids leave that state(at least not too many of their top players) therefore no lost. Jernigan “a life long GATOR fan” goes to FSU the enemy, come on his heart was not in the GATOR NATION. And to say the coached betrayed him (former coaches) by recruiting him up to the last minute they were apart of the GATOR staff, they were doing the job they were being paid for and that is recruiting the best high school players in the nation to join the Gator nation and not to be a Meyer or Macarney disciple. Grant and Anthony both are Studs and neither stayed in North Carolina to play. I really thought that Grant would go to the SEC, both will be stars wherever they go, but to be the best among the best is something special. Go GATORS!!!

  7. It’s finally all over. Resignations, 8-5, bolldozed by the crimiNOLES. I am as happy as a pig……….. with this class all things considered.

    Lets move on to spring practice, FNL and the 2011 season.

    I believe WM will have Uf back on top at this time next year.

  8. So a high school senior felt “betrayed” by UF coaches. Sounds like we should rejoice that he went somewhere else. He must be excessively high on himself to think that anyone cares if he felt “betrayed.” Can you imagine being a position coach trying to get this guy ready to play? Make him play a role in a defense he doesn’t like and watch out, he might get mad at you. Florida needs TEAM players not individuals who are so high on themselves that they can’t contribute to what the team needs. Guess some things work themselves out, and I am glad this guy is going elsewhere. God forbid we upset an 18 year old. Stars do NOT mean everything. Some great Novas burn out quickly!

  9. I was logged on to ESPN3’s Signing Day coverage from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm (missed the last half hour). Many head coaches were interviewed (live), including Michigan’s new coach Brady Hoke, but unless he appeared in the final half hour, I didn’t see (or hear) our new coach interviewed.
    What’s up with that?!
    Since his intro presser, I’ve seen/heard precious little of/from Coach Muschamp!
    I was looking forward to hearing from him sometime today!
    Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot?!?!?! Is he a media recluse?!?
    C’mon, Boom,… TALK TO US!
    ————
    IGTBAG!
    Ciao
    (9:52 pm, ET)

  10. Sorry to hear we lost Grant, he seems like a top tier prospect.
    Please do not compare his decision to Jernigan’s. Jernigan is a pu**y that is afraid of SEC competition.
    Why else would he choose FSU over the other top flight SEC programs?

  11. Ed,

    Thanks for all the updates, they are very helpful. I noticed that DT Johnathan Jenkins has not yet commited. Is there any chance that we can land him? This is a huge need for us. Also the QB Jacoby Bissett, is he still a possibility?

    Thanks,
    John

  12. As a Gator living in Austin, I can tell you that the fact that Texas retained almsot all of its recruits after Muschamp left, and Muschamp struggled to keep Meyer’s recruits at UF tells me the Muschamp has some work to do as a recruiter. I do hope that he can coach better than he can recruit.

  13. @ Holt Hackney

    You may be right, but kids in Texas grow up wanting to be a Longhorn and their classes are typically almost done by summer. They have very little in-state competition, where as UF will battle FSU, UM, and USF for recruits….

    Also, not only did Muschamp leave, but so did almost the entire Longhorn staff, and I believe they only lost Westerman (an out-of-state commit) to Auburn (Championships are awesome)…..

    Let’s see what Muschamp does with a full year to recruit! You so-called Gator fans are ridiculous….

  14. Good Luck Curtis Grant, we wish you the best, that said however, you might want to sit down with Coach Tressel and dissect the NC game tape where the Gators destroyed the Buckeyes. In other news….
    Concerning walk-on Ryan McGriff…
    “I’ve accepted the fact that I’m not a big-name recruit,” he said. “As a local kid, I know what it takes — to work hard and earn what you get. I have no problem being the scout-team quarterback, helping the defense, helping the offense, learning whatever signals, holding. Whatever I can do to help them be a better football team.”
    “WHATEVER I CAN DO TO HELP THE FOOTBALL TEAM”!!!!!
    Just do what the coaches ask, Kerwin Bell went from 7th string walk-on to Gator legend, ask Awbarn, Jawja, or any Gaor fan…

  15. This stuff is all hit and miss; they’re 18-year-olds for cryin’ out loud. Have to say though that we’re probably better off without Jernigan; kid doesn’t seem very well adjusted.

    FSU’s success, in my opinion, really just reflects tham playing catchup and the strength of our class last year… a lot of those guys had no chance of moving right in on the Gators because of last year’s four- and five-stars in Gainesville. It’s cyclical.

    Great that the McGriff name just seems to keep popping up on the Gators from decade to decade.

    I for one am absolutely thrilled with this class, the new staff, everything about it. Remember that Urban’s first class was also 18 signees and he won two NCs in six years. This class includes the nation’s #1 quarterback, #1 fullback, great secondary guys to restock us, and a vastly underrated great running back in Blakely.

  16. @holt hackney —
    Here’s another way of looking at it:
    Mack Brown retained ALMOST all of his own recruits.
    Will Muschamp retained ALMOST all of someone else’s recruits.
    [plus added a couple-few of his own in 1 mo.].
    ————
    IGTBAG! (It’s Great To Be A Gator!)
    Ciao

  17. aren”t we forgetting about the middle linebacker who signed with USC, enrolled and then changed his mind and became a Gator but is having to sit out a year? What’s his name, Chris Martin? He was suppossed to be the next Brandon Spikes. Isn’t he still with us and isn’t this his year?

  18. Disappointed about this one, because I thought we had the better chance. From what I heard, Stan Drayton’s last second defection is what lost him for us. I’m happy to say that I am glad that Stan Drayton no longer is at UF regardless. He leave for Ohio State, and then Curtis Grant, almost a virtual UF lock, changes his mind on NSD and goers where Drayton does. Yeah, it was a smarmy, scumbag thing for Drayton to do too. Even after Coach Muschamp took the job here at UF, at least he didn’t go after the kids he recruited to Texas. No doubt in my mind that Drayton probably gave Grant a phone call heads up he was switching jobs.

  19. Yes G8, Martin was a 5* DE prospect that can play either end of LB and he’s still at UF. Last year, counting Martin, the Gators got the nations #1 DE and #1 player (Powell), the nation’s #1 DT (Floyd), the nation’s #2 DT Easley), and the nation’s #2 DE (Martin). This is probably also the reason why we lost Watson to USF. (USF? WTF?!) he was afraid of the depth chart. That said, UF’s DL looks to be awesome the next 2 – 3 years with htese guys.

  20. An interesting and positive twist of fate for Chris Martin (and the Gators) —
    ————
    By Bob Lichtenfels
    Regional Recruiting Manager (Scout.com)
    Date: Jan 5, 2010
    SAN ANTONIO, Texas — “Chris Martin caused a stir recently when he decommitted from Notre Dame to go to California, but Martin really stuck to his guns. Martin said he would go to Notre Dame as long as Charlie Weis was there. Weis left and so did Martin.”
    ————
    I don’t know Martin’s reason(s), but it’s good to know that our new OC can lure Defensive studs! Go Gators!
    ————
    IGTBAG!
    Ciao
    >PS: @g8rbyrd —— He transferred from the Univ. of California (Bears), not USC.

  21. And in the most recent news, the nation’s #3 QB, Jacboy Brissett, will sign his LIO tonight at his school’s basketball game and be a Florida Gator. I admit that I thought Wisconsin would be his final destination, but his camp thinks he can beat out Driskell at UF. We’ll see, but it’s a great problem to have. 😉 That makes the nation’s #1 and #1 QB’s, #1 FB, and #2 DB in this class. For a class that’s still 6 under it’s signing quota, and to have a #14 ranking, that’s impressive. I imagine we will move up a spot or two as well. Keep your fingers crossed about that big DT jenkins tomorrow too, but I hear he’s a Dawg.

  22. I’m excited about jacoby if Florida is his final choice. My thinking here is he would not have come if Muschamp had not said that he would open up all the positions and may the best stud win the spot. That has been one of my biggest hopes for this coaching staff, this will bring a renewed fire to the spring and the regular practice sessions.These coaches will (hopefully) allow every player to determine his own fate, if he will be the starter of one of the two others that will rotate at that position. We are deep enough for a three man rotation at most positions. I doubt if he pulls that at QB, he’s going to want consistency at that spot, yet he may have it soo good now at that spot that he can use two QB’s with a lot better consistency than the previous OC was able to do, because he was so predictable it really was not effective. I really think we are ready, I’ll be at the spring game this year again to better evaluate in my mind how good we are for the coming year. Go GATORS!!!

  23. Ed, Thanks for the great insight up and including signing day and beyond. I wonder hoiw and why some high schools are such good college feeder programs. Could you provide some insight as to why some schools like Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer,
    Lakeland Kathleen, St Thomas Aquinas, Trinty Christian, and schools around Pahokee seem to always produce many star athletes in a graduating class that colleges covet.
    As many high schools as we have in Florida there seem to be a select few who consistently produce Div 1 propects. Do you think it is the hs coach, pop warner early age playing or something else. Always wondered about this. Hope you can answer. And again, thank you for your insightful writing!

  24. Deja vu all over again?!?!? —
    I’m very surprised by the report of Brissett committing to UF (we’ll see if he actually signs)!! I figured he’d go to Washington to have a chance at retribution toward Oregon – one of UW’s rivals – for their (apparently) not giving him an offer after he publicly expressed the hope that they would; not UF, because of our having the #1 QB in the same class (not to mention the prior “insulting” Greyshirt offer from Meyer).
    If he does sign with us, it’ll be an indicator of his self-confidence! Plus, it’ll be similar to when Cam Newton was here with Tebow; “deja vu all over again!”
    Though Brissett is a cut or two above Tyler Murphy, he might want to familiarize himself with any lessons learned from the late recruitment & signing of Tyler last year (whom I’m surprised didn’t transfer back to Temple Univ. with their new HC Addazio – Murphy’s chief UF recruiter who lured him away from his original commitment to TU,… “a better fit”).
    Brissett’s stats from his Senior season last year are quite impressive themselves, especially his astonishing TD:Int. ratio (32:1)! Driskel won’t be able to ignore his rear-view mirror. Jacoby will be good for him, though; neither will be able to get away with simply “dialing it in” (like Brantley).
    Speaking of the “Legacy,” I’d actually like to see him be the starter his final season, but ONLY if he wins it in practice AND maintains it on the live gridiron; a would-be sentimental, story-book ending. A tall order indeed!
    I hope for his sake that he’s been shoring up his scrambling and running skills, because if there’s not a dramatic improvement with them (and obviously the passing, too), then it’s ALREADY over!!!
    Let the sweepstakes begin, and may the best man win (this time around)!
    ————
    IGTBAG!
    Ciao

  25. I am really grateful the coach Muschamp will open the positions battles in the spring and allow the competition to be hot and heavy and let the best performers win the starting positions. I believe this will be a healthy thing for the program and it will keep the kids interest up, even if he allows the competition to stay open during the year. I can see us being 2 – 3 deep in some positions (barring injuries) and if so we could run 2 – 3 waves of people at our opponents, confuse and wear them out during the course of the game, I only see good things with this open competition. GO GATORS!!!

  26. Curtis Grant’s cousin, Doran Grant signed with OSU as well, which may have played a role in his decision, in addition to Meyer’s departure. I have a kid at Hermitage who knows Curtis and I have seen almost all of the games he’s played. A real nice kid, great teammate, and from a good family. I wish him the best.